Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How does "social legislation" differ from legislation? And how to stop it

Dennis Prager made a great quip when he said: "They don't know why they don't like the term "justice"" - in reference to people who believe strongly in so called "social justice". And he's right. People who are dead set in favor of "social justice" are equally dead set against "justice".

This is illustrative and instructive in understanding the mindset of progressives. At least to a degree. If you live in the real world, you'll never fully understand progressives. But we can go pretty far in our endeavor. Much further than most people realize. For example, Herbert Croly writes in his book "Progressive Democracy" the following: (Page 362)

In the past the administration of the civil law, except through the agency of the courts, was of small importance, because the law was supposed merely to recognize and interpret customary ways of economic and social behavior. But when the chief object of legislation is to carry into effect an experimental social program, the administration of the law has a different and more responsible function. Legislation is being used as a means of modifying social behavior, not social behavior as an excuse for formulating legislation. The legislator has become an innovator. He is dealing with an extremely complex and elusive material, and it is most difficult for him to define in advance how the objects of the law are best to be realized. The difficulty of the job has not prevented him from very frequently trying it out ; but he has learned something from his failures. He is learning that an extremely detailed and comprehensive statute is usually ineffective, because of the impossibility of anticipating all the conditions which affect the operation of a specific rule. Social legislation is coming more and more to demand results rather than prescribe means. Statutes are being passed in the interest of the safety of employees in factories, which merely define safety as such freedom from danger to life and health as the nature of the employment will reasonably permit. The duty of drawing up a set of regulations which will provide sufficient safeguards for the life and health of the operatives is intrusted to a commission. All that the legislature does is to declare that industrial employment shall be reasonably safeguarded. The commission makes a comprehensive investigation of the conditions upon which the health and safety of the industrial employees depend and it issues orders based on the result of its investigations. These orders can be attacked in the courts, but in adjudicating the case the courts have to accept as final the commission's record of the facts.

I'm sure most of you saw it, because you couldn't miss it. He just described Obamacare. Why is Obamacare 3000 pages long? Because the entire thing is a lead in to massive regulation. Commission after commission after commission, layer of control after layer of control. Forbes reported last October that "So far, more than 13,000 pages of federal ObamaCare regulations have been issued". And that's just the beginning. 3000 pages = 13000 pages, at a minimum.

Croly is surprisingly honest in this part of the book with the following line:

But when the chief object of legislation is to carry into effect an experimental social program, the administration of the law has a different and more responsible function. Legislation is being used as a means of modifying social behavior, not social behavior as an excuse for formulating legislation.

That's social legislation. It's experimental legislation which is designed to get people to change their behavior. Now I'm sure may of you knew full well that a lot, if not most legislation has that goal. But now you know that it actually has a name. That's not legislation, it's social legislation.

Croly uses the line about results and means, which really isn't all that different than "means and ends". For a lengthy examination into the progressive view of means and ends, see Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals, Chapter 3. I'll just summarize it this way: "If the end is what you want, then the means is how you get it". In this case, the means is social legislation. Croly even makes the point that the courts are powerless against social legislation. Keep in mind that Croly wrote all of this in 1915. But you and I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. I'll ask you the question:

Have the courts been powerless in the face of social legislation?

The clear answer to this is yes. We've lived it our entire lives. Because these statues do not contain "detailed and comprehensive" wording and measures, what exactly is it that they are violating? Now, sure, from a strict constitutional standpoint, the role of congress and the role of the president are clear and defined. But the courts made sure to get rid of that. Last November I wrote this, detailing portions of the role of the courts in progressivism. The important thing is Taft's 1928 ruling:

If Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to [exercise the delegated authority] is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.

See. It's constitutional for congress to pass social legislation in which the power is delegated to the executive and a commission. The point of social legislation is meant to create a vehicle for commissions and regulatory bodies. But to what end? Once the regulatory body takes over to run the show, what kind of regulations should they implement?

They should implement social regulations. Again, with the word "social" appended. John Dewey, in his essay "The Social Possibilities of War" explains that:

To dispose of such matters by labeling them state socialism is merely to conceal their deeper import: the creation of instrumentalities for enforcing the public interest in all the agencies of modern production and exchange. Again, the war has added to the old lesson of public sanitary regulation the new lesson of social regulation for purposes of moral prophylaxis.

And of course, "the supremacy of public need over private possession". Now, does Obamacare do this? It does. Did the courts uphold Obamacare? Absolutely. Just as Croly knew they would. But is Obamacare a vehicle for regulation? No. It's a vehicle for social regulation. They don't want general regulations that make common sense. They want social regulations for the purpose of moral prophylaxis - the supremacy of public need over private posession. Centralized planning. Bureaucratic despotism.

Just as the believer in "social justice" doesn't like "justice", it can be said that the social legislator doesn't like legislation, they only like social legislation. The why is clear: total and ultimate power to centrally plan society. And the social regulator, just like the social legislator, also wants to conduct experiments via regulation(and legislation, respectively) in order to see just how far they can go and what you will accept.

If you want to put an end to progressive social legislation, then it might make sense to start looking toward an overturn of J. W. Hampton & Co. v United States - or at least that portion of the ruling which enables centralized planning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Professor Louis M. Seidman is channeling Herbert Croly

CBS News and Professor Louis Michael Seidman have a lot of people in a panic. Rightfully so, because it's typical in our society to regard college professors as disinterested observers.

College professors are not disinterested observers.

While plenty of people are in a panic over the open attacks on the constitution, one question I have not heard anybody ask or even begin to take a look into, is where does this come from?

Whether he knows it or not, Professor Seidman is speaking almost verbatim from one of the most important early 20th century progressives: Herbert Croly. Croly was profoundly influential with President Roosevelt, and was co-founder of the magazine New Republic. So Croly's vision is still very real and with us today.

Here's a portion of what Prof. Seidman stated: (Video/transcript)

This is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want. We would not allow the French or the United Nations to rule us, and neither should we allow people who died over two centuries ago and knew nothing of our country as it exists today.

Notice the sophistry injected into the phrasing he's using. It's true that Americans wouldn't want the French or the UN to rule over us, but then he equates that with the Founding Fathers. In his mind, he does see the Founders as ruling over us as dictators from a distant and irrelevant time period.

What I heard was this: "The Monarchy of the Word". I wrote this blog posting over a year and a half ago, and I'll briefly cover Croly's words here for comparison. In Herbert Croly's book "Progressive Democracy", on pages 44 and 76.

The Law in the shape of the Federal Constitution really came to be a monarchy of the Word. It had been imposed upon the popular will, which was the only power capable of disputing its authority; and its friends came more and more to assume that the imposition was wise and beneficent.

Herbert Croly, just like Professor Seidman, view the constitution as a paper dictator - imposing it's will upon people who don't want it.(and by extension, the Founders who wrote it) In addition to the quote I listed above, Professor Seidman made these comments:

But what happens when the issue gets Constitutional-ized? Then we turn the question over to lawyers, and lawyers do with it what lawyers do. So instead of talking about whether gun control makes sense in our country, we talk about what people thought of it two centuries ago.
Instead of a question on policy, about which reasonable people can disagree, it becomes a test of one's commitment to our foundational document and, so, to America itself.
If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document.

These are all right out of Herbert Croly: (Page 76)

They became, consequently, its appointed defenders. By the force of their reiterated panegyrics they did much to surround the monarchy of the Law with a more radiant halo of sanctity, which under the circumstances may have had its uses; but they certainly carried their worship of the Word too far.

I really hope that over time I've inspired a few people to pick up some of these old books and read them because yes,they are relevant and yes, the answers are here. The truely scary part is that the progressives have a 100 year head start on us. If I could impress just one thing upon my readers it's this: We can make up time by reading these old texts and realizing who it is we're up against. The progressives rarely if ever talk about their own history in detailed ways. We can use that to our advantage.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Founders had a chance to discuss Progressivism, and they rejected it

For those of you who didn't catch the tail end of Mark Levin's show Tuesday night, here's what he discussed in the last 5 minutes.(mp3)

At the Constitutional Convention, July 17th, 1787, delegate Gunning Bedford of Delaware made the following proposal:

Mr. BEDFORD moved that the 2d. member of Resolution 6. be so altered as to read "and moreover to legislate in all cases for the general interests of the Union, and also in those to which the States are separately incompetent," or in which the harmony of the U. States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation."

That proposal has progressivism written all over it. And as is made clear by the debate that ensued, the Founders resoundly rejected it.

Mr. RANDOLPH. This is a formidable idea indeed. It involves the power of violating all the laws and constitutions of the States, and of intermeddling with their police.
Mr. L. MARTIN considered the power as improper & inadmissible. Shall all the laws of the States be sent up to the Genl. Legislature before they shall be permitted to operate?

I liked the opening line of Madison's comment the best:

Mr. MADISON, considered the negative on the laws of the States as essential to the efficacy & security of the Genl. Govt. The necessity of a general Govt. proceeds from the propensity of the States to pursue their particular interests in opposition to the general interest.

In other words, the states have a specific claim to persue their own best interests, regard of whatever is being called the "general interest" of the day. For Madison, the states were never incompetent; or, certainly not nearly as incompetent as the federal government.(or, as the Founders then referred to it, the general government) Hello 10th amendment. 9th amendment too.

The proposal created quite an outburst, as is made evident by this:

Mr. Govr. MORRIS was more & more opposed to the negative. The proposal of it would disgust all the States.

I would encourage all to listen to the last few minutes, starting at 1:07. It should be noted that the primary pillar of progressive ideology is rule by unelected bureaucrats, but said rule needs to have no opposition from some pesky state legislature.

"We are impatient of state legislatures"

Yeah you are, Mr. Wilson. You certainly are.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Weathermen - First Communique, July 31, 1970

I got this from the website of UC Berkeley, their Media Resources Center, of the Moffitt Library.
From The Berkeley Tribe, July 31, 1970. Reprinted in Jacobs, Harold. Weatherman. Ramparts Press, 1970.

Hello. This is Bernardine Dohrn.


This is the first communication from the Weatherman underground.

All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to Amerika's youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire.

Black people have been fighting almost alone for years. We've known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution. We never intended to spend the next five or twenty-five years of our lives in jail. Ever since SDS became revolutionary, we've been trying to show how it is possible to overcome the frustration and impotence that comes from trying to reform this system. Kids know the lines are drawn revolution is touching all of our lives. Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don't do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.

Now we are adapting the classic guerrilla strategy of the Viet Cong and the urban guerrilla strategy of the Tupamaros to our own situation here in the most technically advanced country in the world.

Ché taught us that "revolutionaries move like fish in the sea." The alienation and contempt that young people have for this country has created the ocean for this revolution.

The hundreds and thousands of young people who demonstrated in the Sixties against the war and for civil rights grew to hundreds of thousands in the past few weeks actively fighting Nixon's invasion of Cambodia and the attempted genocide against black people. The insanity of Amerikan "justice" has added to its list of atrocities six blacks killed in Augusta, two in Jackson and four white Kent State students, making thousands more into revolutionaries.

The parents of "privileged" kids have been saying for years that the revolution was a game for us. But the war and the racism of this society show that it is too fucked-up. We will never live peaceably under this system.

This was totally true of those who died in the New York townhouse explosion. The third person who was killed there was Terry Robbins, who led the first rebellion at Kent State less than two years ago.

The twelve Weathermen who were indicted for leading last October's riots in Chicago have never left the country. Terry is dead, Linda was captured by a pig informer, but the rest of us move freely in and out of every city and youth scene in this country. We're not hiding out but we're invisible.

There are several hundred members of the Weatherman underground and some of us face more years in jail than the fifty thousand deserters and draft dodgers now in Canada. Already many of them are coming back to join us in the underground or to return to the Man's army and tear it up from inside along with those who never left.

We fight in many ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns and grass are united in the youth underground.

Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks. If you want to find us, this is where we are. In every tribe, commune, dormitory, farmhouse, barracks and townhouse where kids are making love, smoking dope and loading guns—fugitives from Amerikan justice are free to go.

For Diana Oughton, Ted Gold and Terry Robbins, and for all the revolutionaries who are still on the move here, there has been no question for a long time now—we will never go back.

Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan injustice. This is the way we celebrate the example of Eldridge Cleaver and H. Rap Brown and all black revolutionaries who first inspired us by their fight behind enemy lines for the liberation of their people.

Never again will they fight alone.

May 21, 1970

Progressivism and the rejection of consent. (Consent of the governed)

Progressives have talked a good game about "democracy" for generations now, but if you'll note they never link that word together with another which is just as important in the mixture of Liberty: "Consent". If you are an admirer of the Founders as I am, you've seen this word "Consent" routinely. Consent of the governed is something that was paramount in the belief of those who secured our rights. Progressives primarily use the word "democracy" because they know that we generally associate the word with a free people, because that's what we're taught by progressive professors to believe that's what it means, all the while what they mean by "democracy" is a euphemism for "socialism" and I am going to again demonstrate this.

When speaking of the "Problems of Democracy", John Dewey, the widely acknowledged Father of Modern American Education and President of the radical group League for Industrial Democracy, wrote in an essay titled "Liberalism and Social Action":

The problem of democracy becomes the problem of that form of social organization, extending to all the areas and ways of living, in which the powers of individuals shall not be merely released from mechanical external constraint but shall be fed, sustained and directed.

When seeing this, it's no wonder that progressives never speak of "consent". They don't mean democracy as a free society. True democracies - if they ever are free societies when they begin, are never free for long, and nearly every Founding Father as made some comment or another about this true historical fact of how dangerous democracies are. Which again, gets at the socialistic nature of democracy, as I demonstrated above in the first link. How shall you vote, for what or how many bureaucracies, which shall control the lives of individuals in how many ways?

That's surely democratic, but it's clearly socialistic. But not so socialistic as to outright nationalize everything. Progressivism is instead "regulation, not socialism" - it's "control without ownership". That's the dividing line between the ideologies. Now, there's a greater context to this quote. Why does Dewey believe that the problem of democracy is a social organization which feeds, sustains, and directs the lives of individuals?

The reliance of liberalism is not upon the mere abstraction of a native endowment unaffected by social relationships, but upon the fact that native capacity is sufficient to enable the average individual to respond to and to use the knowledge and the skill that are embodied in the social conditions in which he lives, moves and has his being. There are few individuals who have the native capacity that was required to invent the stationary steam-engine, locomotive, dynamo or telephone. But there are none so mean that they cannot intelligently utilize these embodiments of intelligence once they are a part of the organized means of associated living.

Because he fully rejects the Founders ideals that we are endowed by our creator, natural law, and the whole lot. We aren't born with any gifts whatsoever to speak of. As I mentioned yesterday, Dewey believed that government needed to "create individuals". Inherently(as the quote above makes clear), progressives do not think highly of individuals. We are nothing without government.

Going back to the original quote above, but looking at it's larger context:

The life-long struggle of Mill to reconcile these ideas with those which were deeply graven in his being by his earlier Benthamism concern us here only as a symbol of the enduring crisis of belief and action brought about in liberalism itself when the need arose for uniting earlier ideas of freedom with an insistent demand for social organization, that is, for constructive synthesis in the realm of thought and social institutions. The problem of achieving freedom was immeasurably widened and deepened. It did not now present itself as a conflict between government and the liberty of individuals in matters of conscience and economic action, but as a problem of establishing an entire social order, possessed of a spiritual authority that would nurture and direct the inner as well as the outer life of individuals. The problem of science was no longer merely technological applications for increase of material productivity, but imbuing the minds of individuals with the spirit of reasonableness, fostered by social organization and contributing to its development. The problem of democracy was seen to be not solved, hardly more than externally touched, by the establishment of universal suffrage and representative government. As Havelock Ellis has said, "We see now that the vote and the ballot-box do not make the voter free from even external pressure; and, which is of much more consequence, they do not necessarily free him from his own slavish instincts." The problem of democracy becomes the problem of that form of social organization, extending to all the areas and ways of living, in which the powers of individuals shall not be merely released from mechanical external constraint but shall be fed, sustained and directed. Such an organization demands much more of education than general school, which without a renewal of the springs of purpose and desire becomes a new mode of mechanization and formalization, as hostile to liberty as ever was governmental constraint. It demands of science much more than external technical application--which again leads to mechanization of life and results in a new kind of enslavement. It demands that the method of inquiry, of discrimination, of test by verifiable consequences, be naturalized in all the matters, of large and of detailed scope, that arise for judgment.

There's a lot here in this paragraph, so I'm going to try to wrap this all up as best as I can. I once wrote a comparative article detailing how the evolution of progressivism followed a similar path to the Fabians over in Britain, and you see that here in Dewey's writings, as he makes it clear that he was deep in thought about Mill and Bentham. Furthermore, the comparison continues as Dewey quotes directly from Havelock Ellis, who was one of the founding members of the Fabian Society. I have also written in the past about the friendly relationship between progressives and Fabians. I typically mean this ideologically as shown above, not friendly personally.(though that did exist too, see Margaret Sanger in that link)

As I mentioned above, Dewey was president of the group LID, and according to the LID themselves, they were America's Fabian Society.

We know what Fabians think of individuals. The key phrase is "big organization of our society". That's exactly what Dewey is talking about. That's the problem of democracy, the bigness of the organization, not the consent of the governed. The consent of the governed is the problem of a republic, of a society which still has it's liberty and doesn't live under bureaucratic despotism - progressivism.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Progressivism: Individuals don't inherently have this thing called "liberty"

In "Liberalism and Social Action" (Excerpts only), John Dewey explains the following:
The idealistic philosophy taught that men are held together by the relations that proceed from and that manifest an ultimate cosmic mind. It followed that the basis of society and the state is shared intelligence and purpose, not force nor yet self-interest. The state is a moral organism, of which government is one organ. Only by participating in the common purpose as it works for the common good can individual human beings realize their true individualities and become truly free. The state is but one organ among many of the Spirit and Will that holds all things together and that makes human beings members of one another. It does not originate the moral claim of individuals to the full realization of their potentialities as vehicles of objective thought and purpose. Moreover, the motives it can directly appeal to are not of the highest kind. But it is the business of the state to protect all forms and to promote all modes of human association in which the moral claims of the members of society are embodied and which serve as the means of voluntary self-realization. Its business is negatively to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of individuals coming to consciousness of themselves for what they are, and positively to promote the cause of public education. Unless the state does this work it is no state. These philosophical liberals pointed out the restrictions, economic and political, which prevent many, probably majority, of individuals from the voluntary intelligent action by which they may become what they are capable of becoming. The teachings of this new liberal school affected the thoughts and actions of multitudes who did not trouble themselves to understand the philosophical doctrine that underlay it. They served to break down the idea that freedom is something that individuals have as a ready-made possession, and to instill the idea that it is something to be achieved, while the possibility of the achievement was shown to be conditioned by the institutional medium in which an individual lives. These new liberals fostered the idea that the state has the responsibility for creating institutions under which individuals can effectively realize the potentialities that are theirs.

This explains what I posted just the other day: "When progressives use the word "liberty", they mean setting the government free"

Yes, but why? I always ask myself that question. "When progressives use the word "liberty", they mean setting the government free", and here is why: "the basis of society and the state is shared intelligence and purpose" and "Only by participating in the common purpose as it works for the common good can individual human beings realize their true individualities and become truly free". He means working through the state. He says quite plainly, that the new liberal school served to break down the idea that freedom is something that individuals inherently have.

Which means that the "liberals" didn't like that idea. They didn't want individuals to believe they were inherently free. (I put liberals in quotes, because by the time Liberalism and Social Action was written, the progressives had re-made themselves and stopped calling themselves progressive)

And you can see this in the writings of my earlier posting, which I linked to. Wilson, Croly, and FDR all make it pretty clear that government must be set free from the original constraints. They don't approach it as philosophically as Dewey does, but they clearly agree. Individuals aren't free. So the state must be set free.

Now, I don't want to just rest my thoughts upon only one of Dewey's writings. From "Reconstruction in Philosophy", Dewey writes the following: (Page 193/194)

Consider the conception of the individual self. The individualistic school of England and France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was empirical in intent. It based its individualism, philosophically speaking, upon the belief that individuals are alone real, that classes and organizations are secondary and derived. They are artificial, while individuals are natural. In what way then can individualism be said to come under the animadversions that have been passed? To say the defect was that this school overlooked those connections with other persons which are a part of the constitution of every individual is true as far as it goes ; but unfortunately it rarely goes beyond the point of just that wholesale justification of institutions which has been criticized.

The real difficulty is that the individual is regarded as something given, something already there. Consequently, he can only be something to be catered to, something whose pleasures are to be magnified and possessions multiplied. When the individual is taken as something given already, anything that can be done to him or for him it can only be by way of external impressions and belongings: sensations of pleasure and pain, comforts, securities.

Animadversion means 'strong criticism'.

So here we see that Dewey does fully and accurately grasp the "old conceptions" of individualism.(and thus by extension, individual liberty) And he is rejecting it. He sees that it's individuals that create institutions. And then he flips it on it's head: (still in pages 193/194)

Now it is true that social arrangements, laws, institutions are made for man, rather than that man is made for them; that they are means and agencies of human welfare and progress. But they are not means for obtaining something for individuals, not even happiness. They are means of creating individuals. Only in the physical sense of physical bodies that to the senses are separate is individuality an original datum. Individuality in a social and moral sense is something to be wrought out. It means initiative, inventiveness, varied resourcefulness, assumption of responsibility in choice of belief and conduct. These are not gifts, but achievements. As achievements, they are not absolute but relative to the use that is to be made of them. And this use varies with the environment.

Creating individuals. That's the true role of government. Without the state, you and I are nothing. Without the state, you and I are destined to make the wrong choices. Note where Dewey uses the phrase "possessions multiplied", that is his real point of contention. We as individuals spend our lives accumulating wealth, and progressives really have a problem with that. In "The Future of Liberalism", (Full text on John Dewey explains the following:

In the first place, such liberalism knows that an individual is nothing fixed, given ready-made. It is something achieved, and achieved not in isolation but with the aid and support of conditions, cultural and physical: including in “cultural,” economic, legal and political institutions as well as science and art. Liberalism knows that social conditions may restrict, distort and almost prevent the development of individuality. It therefore takes an active interest in the working of social institutions that have a bearing, positive or negative, upon the growth of individuals who shall be rugged in fact and not merely in abstract theory. It is as much interested in the positive construction of favorable institutions, legal, political and economic as it is in removing abuses and overt oppressions.

And to end my post, I'll leave you with the words of Drs. Ronald J. Pestritto and Thomas G. West, who explain this last quote from Dewey exactly as I would:

Because individuals are not spontaneously free, the absence of social conditions providing "aid and support" for the development of spiritual potential will inevitably constrain and/or distort individual growth. For this reason, Dewey engaged in a wide-ranging survey of the character of the relations making up American society in order to determine whether they were conductive to spiritual growth. While concluding that many aspects of American life were in need of significant reform(or social reorganization), Dewey believed that no relation posed so great an impediment to spiritual growth as did the free market economic system arising from the protection of the natural right to acquire property.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The process of Segregation has resulted in development

In the Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the National Educational Association(NEA), Edward Gardner Murphy, a southern Progressive, wrote the following: (Page 130)
The great masses of our colored people have themselves desired it. It has made our public school system, however, a double system. It is inevitable that it should often have made the negro schools inferior to the white schools. But the social and educational separation of these races has created the opportunity and the vocation of the negro teacher, the negro physician, the negro lawyer, the negro leader of whatever sort. It has not only preserved the colored leader to the negro masses by preventing the absorption of the best negro life into the life of the stronger race; it has actually created, within thirty years, a representation of negro leadership in commerce, in the professions, in church and school and state, which is worthy of signal honor and of sincere and generous applause. The segregation of the race has thrown its members upon their own powers and has developed the qualities of resourcefulness. The discriminations which they have borne in a measure by reason of their slavery, and which have established the apartness of their group life, are the discriminations which are curing the curse of slavery - an undeveloped initiative - and are creating the noblest of the gifts of freedom, the power of personal and social self dependence. The very process which may have seemed to some like a policy of oppression has in fact resulted in a process of development.

Notice the title of the piece: "The Schools of the People". Progressives still use language like that to this day.

This is on the same plane as Woodrow Wilson, who stated that "Segregation is not humiliating, but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.". This is really what the progressives thought back then. And they cherry picked information to make their case.

Unfortunately, I can't find a readable copy online, but Edgar G. Murphy has long been considered a progressive. At the end of his 1909 book "The Basis of Ascendancy", Edward Murphy highlights all of the people, groups, and institutions that gave him praise. At the top of the list - The New York Times.

It should not be assumed that this was just as southern progressive ideal that the northern progressives held in disdain, as the link above demonstrates, Murphy was widely praised. And to this day, Woodrow Wilson is routinely and consistently ranked as one of the best presidents we've ever had.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When progressives use the word "liberty", they mean setting the government free

In "Constitutional government in the United States", Woodrow Wilson writes the following: (page 70-71)
Some of our Presidents have deliberately held themselves off from using the full power they might legitimately have used, because of conscientious scruples, because they were more theorists than statesmen. They have held the strict literary theory of the Constitution, the Whig theory, the Newtonian theory, and have acted as if they thought that Pennsylvania Avenue should have been even longer than it is; that there should be no intimate communication of any kind between the Capitol and the White House; that the President as a man was no more at liberty to lead the houses of Congress by persuasion than he was at liberty as President to dominate them by authority,- supposing that he had, what he has not, authority enough to dominate them. But the makers of the Constitution were not enacting Whig theory, they were not making laws with the expectation that, not the laws themselves, but their opinions, known by future historians to lie back of them, should govern the constitutional action of the country. They were statesmen, not pedants, and their laws are sufficient to keep us to the paths they set us upon. The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit; and if Congress be overborne by him, it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution,- it will be from no lack of constitutional powers on its part, but only because the President has the nation behind him, and Congress has not. He has no means of compelling Congress except through public opinion.

There's a lot here, so I'll go through this.

Some of our Presidents have deliberately held themselves off from using the full power they might legitimately have used, because of conscientious scruples, because they were more theorists than statesmen.

This is a lament. "The president has much more power than anybody has dared to use".

They have held the strict literary theory of the Constitution, the Whig theory, the Newtonian theory, and have acted as if they thought that Pennsylvania Avenue should have been even longer than it is; that there should be no intimate communication of any kind between the Capitol and the White House; that the President as a man was no more at liberty to lead the houses of Congress by persuasion than he was at liberty as President to dominate them by authority,- supposing that he had, what he has not, authority enough to dominate them.

To dominate them, eh? So a president which doesn't dominate congress, a president which doesn't step outside of the constitution's strict literary theory, is not exercising the full potential liberty of his position.

The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit; and if Congress be overborne by him, it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution,- it will be from no lack of constitutional powers on its part, but only because the President has the nation behind him, and Congress has not.

This gets right at Wilson's promise to be an "unconstitutional governor". But it extends it. To the Presidency.

While Theodore Roosevelt was fairly thuggish in his actions regarding constitutional circumvention - that is, he just did what he wanted. "I want it, so I'm going to take it. This stands in my way, so I ignore it".

Woodrow Wilson is a whole different character. He put thought into the best means of circumventing the Constitution, he actively devised what he figured was the best way of unlocking the presidency, of setting the presidency free of all these constraints placed there by the Founding Fathers. Theodore Roosevelt certainly did set the precedent, but Wilson is who devised the mechanics of how it should work. It's Wilson who officially ushered in the age of the Presidential legislator. What Herbert Croly was actively calling for, Wilson was too. And once he became president he made it a reality.

He has no means of compelling Congress except through public opinion.

Wilson is talking about propaganda. It's no coincidence that America's first full fledged propaganda mill - the CPI - was formed under Wilson. Wilson brought in master propagandists like Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, and George Creel.

It is through Wilson that we officially see the death of the executive branch, and the rise of the national legislator. To put this plainly, starting in 1912 America has a legislative branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. There's an interesting observation in this. One of the most hated presidents by those on the left is Calvin Coolidge. Old "Silent Cal". Perhaps seeing all of this will bring to light for you the real reason why progressives call him that - Coolidge wasn't a national legislator. He remained silent, as congress did it's job. And he in turn did his actual job - executing laws. Unlike Wilson who was saturated by ambition and faction, Coolidge actually was a president and not a legislator.

You can also see this in the words of FDR. In FDR's famous Eleventh State of the Union Address, known as the "Second Bill of Rights" speech, FDR says the following:

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights-among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded-these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Pay careful attention to the words he uses. He says twice, "political rights". This portion of FDR's speech highlights how progressives are very good at mastering the language. He says "inalienable" once, which gets people thinking that FDR is paying tribute and honor to the great Declaration of Independence. But then he switches it up. These rights aren't endowed by our creator. They're political rights, granted by government. (which is why government can create more rights, or, where we're at now under Obama, why government can take rights away. They're only political rights in the view of progressives)

But then FDR says "Necessitous men are not free men", and "true freedom cannot exist without economic security".

So all this freedom from government business? That's fake freedom. True freedom can only exist if government is set free from the constraints of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. There's FDR, continuing the progressive legacy of Woodrow Wilson.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pygmalion - a story of people laundering

Bernard Shaw specifically points to Pygmalion as didactic.(In the preface) Which means instructive or teaching. The question is, what is he teaching, and to whom? On the one hand, there's the obvious answer that he is teaching "the masses" about how selfish and superficial that the upper classes are.(which isn't always true) But on the other hand, Bernard Shaw is very popular amongst today's elites. What did he teach them with this?

Here are some highlights. From act 1:

THE NOTE TAKER. You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days. Well, sir, in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an ambassador's garden party. I could even get her a place as lady's maid or shop assistant, which requires better English. That's the sort of thing I do for commercial millionaires. And on the profits of it I do genuine scientific work in phonetics, and a little as a poet on Miltonic lines.

Where he says "I could pass that girl off" is what got my attention. This concept of passing her off is used repeatedly in the book. From act 2:

HIGGINS [carried away] Yes: in six months--in three if she has a good ear and a quick tongue--I'll take her anywhere and pass her off as anything. We'll start today: now! this moment! Take her away and clean her, Mrs. Pearce. Monkey Brand, if it won't come off any other way. Is there a good fire in the kitchen?

MRS. PEARCE [protesting]. Yes; but--

HIGGINS [storming on] Take all her clothes off and burn them. Ring up Whiteley or somebody for new ones. Wrap her up in brown paper till they come.

LIZA. You're no gentleman, you're not, to talk of such things. I'm a good girl, I am; and I know what the like of you are, I do.

HIGGINS. We want none of your Lisson Grove prudery here, young woman. You've got to learn to behave like a duchess. Take her away, Mrs. Pearce. If she gives you any trouble wallop her.

Act 3:

MRS. HIGGINS. You certainly are a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll.

HIGGINS. Playing! The hardest job I ever tackled: make no mistake about that, mother. But you have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. It's filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from class and soul from soul.

PICKERING [drawing his chair closer to Mrs. Higgins and bending over to her eagerly] Yes: it's enormously interesting. I assure you, Mrs. Higgins, we take Eliza very seriously. Every week-- every day almost--there is some new change. [Closer again] We keep records of every stage--dozens of gramophone disks and photographs--

HIGGINS [assailing her at the other ear] Yes, by George: it's the most absorbing experiment I ever tackled. She regularly fills our lives up; doesn't she, Pick?

PICKERING. We're always talking Eliza.

HIGGINS. Teaching Eliza.

PICKERING. Dressing Eliza.


HIGGINS. Inventing new Elizas.

There certainly is plenty of truth in the writing, to be sure. Different groups of people do speak differently, especially the uneducated. But this concept of taking a person and re-making them and of laundering them, is something we know that the progressives do. They did it with Bill Ayers, who once was a terrorist bomber, and is now a respectable college professor. I wrote some things about about Van Jones being laundered.

The only portion that's conjecture is the question "did they get it from Bernard Shaw?" or "Did they get it from Pygmalion"?

They could've gotten it from some place else. But we know that progressives launder people, they have a whole sector of non-profits(and even some for profit corporations) which make the system work. By conferring awards, putting certain people on tv or in magazines and conducting straight forward interviews as if the interviewee had some legitimate claim to authority.

If you prefer an audiobook format, Librivox has Pygmalion, here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Some uploads

Some time ago, I wrote this. I should've uploaded that full speech MP3 to all along, a long time ago.

In any case, it's done.

Somewhere along the way I came up with several different things. Copies of the book Woodrow Wilson: Disciple of Revolution. page.

Fabian Tract # 39. Found a version that would qualify for public domain. page.

Irrepressible America, a pamphlet from the League for Industrial Democracy written by Scott Nearing. page. Nearing has an interesting story as a radical in the 1910's-20's, and even during the Vietnam era to a degree. He was a teacher at the radical Rand School of Social Sciences.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jobs are a symptom of liberty

One of the reasons why I read old published material is that I am constantly annoyed by what passes for news in modern life, and I keep finding answers in history. Take the constant prattling about jobs for example. If this was your average current events blog that constantly spent it's entire time refuting what the media reports, my head would explode.

There's certainly a need for that type of blogger, because such refutations need to be made line by line, false claim by false claim. But it's a never ending battle, and one that I have little interest in directly joining.

But with old texts, you will find the truth. The truth has a certain ring to it. In the great classic, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations",(Book 3) you will find the following: page 159)

A person who can acquire no property, can have no other interest but to eat as much, and to labour as little as possible. Whatever work he does beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own.

Smith makes it plain as day: A slave will not work as hard as a freeman will. He makes the point several times in different ways, but that is one of the most clear.

Alexis De Tocqueville makes the exact same observation: (Page 265)

As soon as a competition was set on foot between the free laborer and the slave, the inferiority of the latter became manifest, and slavery was attacked in its fundamental principle, which is the interest of the master.

And again: (Page 263)

The free workman is paid, but he does his work quicker than the slave, and rapidity of execution is one of the great elements of economy.

It's true that Tocqueville(Smith too) is making multiple points in both of these instances. For example, he talks about the effect of slave owning upon the master, as well as talking about the total cost of slave owning when the slave is an infant and the slave reaches old age. But the overriding point of the superiority of freemen can't be missed. (The effect that owning slaves has upon a "master" is deserving of it's own long discussion, but I won't take that up at this moment.)

How this relates to modern American life is simple: Progressivism is regulation, not socialism. That is, progressives have realized that they can use the "new formula" of control without ownership.(see # 17) Reagan explains it perfectly, in the form of a question:

What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the—or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.

Reagan is, of course, talking about the vast regulatory state. Or, as Hillsdale calls it, "Bureaucratic Despotism".

And with that, the whole picture is painted. The more that progressives regulate every aspect of your life, or tax every aspect of your life that they don't like so as to make you act differently based on tax consequences, there's a direct co-relation between your liberty and of course, the health of the economy as a whole.

At some point, the progressives will have regulated and taxed so much of your life that they control every aspect of it. And when you look at a human who has zero control over their own life, slave is the only word that applies. So much for a good economy.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Benjamin Disraeli's 1872 condemnation of Liberalism

"The tone and tendency of Liberalism cannot be long concealed. It is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of Reform, and to make war on the manners and customs of the people of this country under the pretext of Progress." - Benjamin Disraeli

I was reminded recently of the 1872 "Demands of Liberalism", which in turn reminded me of what I had seen in Disraeli's writings. You wouldn't believe the stuff I read sometimes. Heck, I don't believe it often times. Anyways, here are those demands:


"1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.

"2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.

"3. We demand that all public appropriations for educational and charitable institutions of a sectarian character shall cease.

"4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the Government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.

"5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States, or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.

"6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the Government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.

"7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.

"8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of "Christian" morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.

"9. We demand that not only in the Constitutions of the United States, and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made."

It's important to understand that this list of Liberal demands comes from America, not Britain. Why that's important is it highlights that Liberalism was becoming corrupt on both sides of the pond at about the same rate.

As I usually do, here is the original source for Benjamin Disraeli's discourse on "Conservative and Liberal principles" from June, 1872. It's a 12 and 1/2 page long speech, so I've transcribed it in a separate post. This is easier to deal with than the Google Books interface.

Conservative and Liberal principles - A speech by future Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1872)


Speech at Crystal Palace, June 24, 1872

[The lecture delivered by Sir Charles Dilke at Newcastle, on the cost of Royalty, which was regarded as an attack upon the English monarchy, and an avowed Republican manifesto, caused so much displeasure to the population that serious riots ensued and one life was lost. This explains the reference to the 'advanced guard of Liberalism'. For the rest the speech foreshadows pretty closely the policy pursued by the speaker when, two years afterwards, he became Prime Minister.]

LORD DUKE AND GENTLEMEN, - I am very sensible of the honour which you have done me in requesting that I should be your guest today, and still more for your having associated my name with the important toast which has been proposed by the Lord Mayor. In the few observations that I shall presume to make on this occasion I will confine myself to some suggestions as to the present state of the Constitutional cause and the prospects which you, as a great Constitutional party, have before you. Gentlemen, some years ago - now, indeed, not an inconsiderable period, but within the memory of many who are present - the Tory party experienced a great overthrow. I am here to admit that in my opinion it was deserved. A long course of power and prosperity had induced it to sink into a state of apathy and indifference, and it had deviated from the great principles of that political association which had so long regulated the affairs and been identified with the glory of England. Instead of the principles professed by Mr Pitt and Lord Grenville, and which those great men inherited from Tory statesmen who had preceded them not less illustrious, the Tory system had degenerated into a policy which found an adequate basis on the principles of exclusiveness and restriction. Gentlemen, the Tory party, unless it is a national party, is nothing. It is not a confederacy of nobles, it is not a democratic multitude; it is a party formed from all the numerous classes in the realm – classes alike and equal before the law, but whose different conditions and different aims give vigour and variety to our national life.

Gentlemen, a body of public men distinguished by their capacity took advantage of these circumstances. They seized the helm of affairs in a manner the honour of which I do not for a moment question, but they introduced a new system into our political life. Influenced in a great degree by the philosophy and the politics of the Continent, they endeavoured to substitute cosmopolitan for national principles; and they baptized the new scheme of politics with the plausible name of ‘Liberalism’. Far be it from me for a moment to intimate that a country like England should not profit by the political experience of Continental nations of not inferior civilization; far be it from me for a moment to maintain that the party which then obtained power and which has since generally possessed it did not make many suggestions for our public life that were of great value, and bring forward many measures which, though changes, were nevertheless improvements. But the tone and tendency of Liberalism cannot be long concealed. It is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of Reform, and to make war on the manners and customs of the people of this country under the pretext of Progress. During the forty years that have elapsed since the commencement of this new system – although the superficial have seen upon its surface only the contentions of political parties – the real state of affairs has been this: the attempt of one party to establish in this country cosmopolitan ideas, and the efforts of another – unconscious efforts, sometimes, but always continued – to recur to and resume those national principles to which they attribute the greatness and glory of the country.

The Liberal party cannot complain that they have not had fair play. Never had a political party such advantages, never such opportunities. They are still in power; they have been for a long period in power. And yet what is the result? I speak not I am sure the language of exaggeration when I say that they are viewed by the community with distrust and, I might even say, with repugnance. And, now, what is the present prospect of the national party? I have ventured to say that in my opinion Liberalism, from its essential elements, notwithstanding all the energy and ability with which its tenets have been advocated by its friends – notwithstanding the advantage which has accrued to them, as I will confess, from all the mistakes of their opponents, is viewed by the country with distrust. Now in what light is the party of which we are members viewed by the country, and what relation does public opinion bear to our opinions and our policy? That appears to me to be an instructive query; and on an occasion like the present it is as well that we should enter into its investigation as pay mutual compliments to each other, which may in the end, perhaps, prove fallacious.

Now, I have always been of opinion that the Tory party has three great objects. The first is to maintain the institutions of the country – not from any sentiment of political superstition, but because we believe that they embody the principles upon which a community like England can alone safely rest. The principles of liberty, of order, of law, and of religion ought not to be entrusted to individual opinion or to the caprice and passion of multitudes, but should be embodied in a form of permanence and power. We associate with the Monarchy the ideas which it represents - the majesty of law, the administration of justice, the fountain of mercy and of honour. We know that in the estates of the realm and the privileges they enjoy, is the best security for public liberty and good government. We believe that a national profession of faith can only be maintained by an established Church, and that no society is safe unless there is a public recognition of the providential government of the world, and of the future responsibility of man. Well, it is a curious circumstance that during all these same forty years of triumphant Liberalism, every one of these institutions has been attacked and assailed - I say, continuously attacked and assailed. And what, gentlemen, has been the result? For the last forty years the most depreciating comparisons have been instituted between the sovereignty of England and the sovereignty of a great republic. We have been called upon in every way, in Parliament, in the press, by articles in newspapers, by pamphlets, by every means which can influence opinion, to contrast the simplicity and economy of the sovereignty of the United States with the cumbrous cost of the sovereignty of England.

Gentlemen, I need not in this company enter into any vindication of the Sovereignty of England on that head. I have recently (1) enjoyed the opportunity, before a great assemblage of my countrymen, of speaking upon that subject. I have made statements with respect to it which have not been answered either on this side of the Atlantic or the other. Only six months ago the advanced guard of Liberalism,(2) acting in entire unison with that spirit of assault upon the Monarchy which the literature and the political confederacies of Liberalism have for forty years encouraged, flatly announced itself as Republican, and appealed to the people of England on that distinct issue. Gentlemen what was the answer? I need not dwell upon it. It is fresh in your memories and hearts. The people of England have expressed, in a manner which cannot be mistaken, that they will uphold the ancient Monarchy of England, the Constitutional Monarchy of England, limited by the co-ordinate authority of the Estates of the Realm but limited by nothing else. Now, if you consider the state of public opinion with regard to those estates of the realm, what do you find? Take the case of the House of Lords. The House of Lords has been assailed during this reign of Liberalism in every manner and unceasingly. Its constitution has been denounced as anomalous, its influence declared pernicious; but what has been the result of this assault and criticism of forty years? Why, the people of England, in my opinion, have discovered that the existence of a second chamber is necessary to constitutional government; and, while necessary to constitutional government, is, at the same time, of all political inventions the most difficult. Therefore, the people of this country have congratulated themselves that, by the aid of an ancient and famous history, there has been developed in this country an assembly which possesses all the virtues which a senate should possess - independence, great local influence, eloquence, all the accomplishments of political life, and a public training which no theory could supply.

The assault of Liberalism upon the House of Lords has been mainly occasioned by the prejudice of Liberalism against the land laws of this country. But in my opinion, and in the opinion of wiser men than myself, and of men in other countries beside this, the liberty of England depends much upon the landed tenure of England - upon the fact that there is a class which can alike defy despots and mobs, around which the people may always rally, and which must be patriotic from its intimate connection with the soil. Well, gentlemen, so far as these institutions of the country - the monarchy and the Lords spiritual and temporal - are concerned, I think we may fairly say, without exaggeration, that public opinion is in favour of those institutions, the maintenance of which is one of the principal tenets of the Tory party, and the existence of which has been unceasingly criticised for forty years by the Liberal party. Now, let me say a word about the other estate of the realm, which was first attacked by Liberalism.

One of the most distinguishing features of the great change effected in 1832 was that those who brought it about at once abolished all the franchises of the working classes. They were franchises as ancient as those of the baronage of England; and, while they abolished them, they proposed no substitute. The discontent upon the subject of the representation which has from that time more or less pervaded our society dates from that period, and that discontent, all will admit, has now ceased. It was terminated by the Act of Parliamentary Reform of 1867–8. That Act was founded on a confidence that the great body of the people of this country were 'Conservative'. When I say 'Conservative', I use the word in its purest and loftiest sense. I mean that the people of England, and especially the working classes of England, are proud of belonging to a great country, and wish to maintain its greatness - that they are proud of belonging to an Imperial country, and are resolved to maintain, if they can, their empire - that they believe, on the whole, that the greatness and the empire of England are to be attributed to the ancient institutions of the land.

Gentlemen, I venture to express my opinion, long entertained, and which has never for a moment faltered, that this is the disposition of the great mass of the people; and I am not misled for a moment by wild expressions and eccentric conduct which may occur in the metropolis of this country. There are people who may be, or who at least affect to be, working men, and who, no doubt, have a certain influence with a certain portion of the metropolitan working classes, who talk Jacobinism. But, gentlemen, that is no novelty. That is not the consequence of recent legislation or of any political legislation that has occurred in this century. There always has been a Jacobinical section in the City of London. I don't particularly refer to that most distinguished and affluent portion of the metropolis which is ruled by my right honourable friend the Lord Mayor. Mr Pitt complained of and suffered by it. There has always been a certain portion of the working class in London who have sympathised - perverse as we may deem the taste - with the Jacobin feelings of Paris. Well, gentlemen, we all know now, after eighty years' experience, in what the Jacobinism of Paris has ended, and I hope I am not too sanguine when I express my conviction that the Jacobinism of London will find a very different result.

I say with confidence that the great body of the working class of England utterly repudiate such sentiments. They have no sympathy with them. They are English to the core. They repudiate cosmopolitan principles. They adhere to national principles. They are for maintaining the greatness of the kingdom and the empire, and they are proud of being subjects of our sovereign and members of such an empire. Well, then, as regards the political institutions of this country, the maintenance of which is one of the chief tenets of the Tory party, so far as I can read public opinion, the feeling of the nation is in accordance with the Tory party. It was not always so. There was a time when the institutions of this country were decried. They have passed through a scathing criticism of forty years; they have passed through that criticism when their political upholders have, generally speaking, been always in opposition. They have been upheld by us when we were unable to exercise any of the lures of power to attract force to us, and the people of this country have arrived at these conclusions from their own thought and their own experience.

Let me say one word upon another institution the position of which is most interesting at this time. No institution of England, since the advent of Liberalism, has been so systematically, so continuously assailed as the established Church. Gentlemen, we were first told that the Church was asleep, and it is very possible, as everybody, civil and spiritual, was asleep forty years ago, that that might have been the case. Now we are told that the Church is too active, and that it will be destroyed by its internal restlessness and energy. I see in all these efforts of the Church to represent every mood of the spiritual mind of man, no evidence that it will fall, no proof that any fatal disruption is at hand. I see in the Church, as I believe I see in England, an immense effort to rise to national feelings and recur to national principles. The Church of England, like all our institutions, feels it must be national, and it knows that, to be national, it must be comprehensive. Gentlemen, I have referred to what I look upon as the first object of the Tory party - namely, to maintain the institutions of the country, and reviewing what has occurred, and referring to the present temper of the times upon these subjects, I think that the Tory party, or, as I will venture to call it, the National party, has everything to encourage it. I think that the nation, tested by many and severe trials, has arrived at the conclusion which we have always maintained, that it is the first duty of England to maintain its institutions, because to them we principally ascribe the power and prosperity of the country.

Gentlemen, there is another and second great object of the Tory party. If the first is to maintain the institutions of the country, the second is, in my opinion, to uphold the empire of England. If you look to the history of this country since the advent of Liberalism - forty years ago - you will find that there has been no effort so continuous, so subtle, supported by so much energy, and carried on with so much ability and acumen, as the attempts of Liberalism to effect the disintegration of the Empire of England.

And, gentlemen, of all its efforts, this is the one which has been the nearest to success. Statesmen of the highest character, writers of the most distinguished ability, the most organised and efficient means, have been employed in this endeavour. It has been proved to all of us that we have lost money by our colonies. It has been shown with precise, with mathematical demonstration, that there never was a jewel in the Crown of England that was so truly costly as the possession of India. How often has it been suggested that we should at once emancipate ourselves from this incubus. Well that result was nearly accomplished When those subtle views were adopted by the country under the plausible plea of granting self-government to the Colonies, I confess that I myself thought that the tie was broken. Not that I for one object to self-government. I cannot conceive how our distant colonies can have their affairs administered except by self-government. But self-government, in my opinion, when it was conceded, ought to have been conceded as part of a great policy of Imperial consolidation. It ought to have been accompanied by an Imperial tariff, by securities for the people of England for the enjoyment of the unappropriated lands which belonged to the Sovereign as their trustee, and by a military code which should have precisely denned the means and the responsibilities by which the colonies should be defended, and by which, if necessary, this country should call for aid from the colonies themselves. It ought, further, to have been accompanied by the institution of some representative council in the metropolis, which would have brought the Colonies into constant and continuous relations with the Home Government. All this, however, was omitted because those who advised that policy - and I believe their convictions were sincere - looked upon the Colonies of England, looked even upon our connection with India, as a burden upon this country, viewing everything in a financial aspect, and totally passing by those moral and political considerations which make nations great, and by the influence of which alone men are distinguished from animals.

Well, what has been the result of this attempt during the reign of Liberalism for the disintegration of the empire? It has entirely failed. But how has it failed? Through the sympathy of the colonies with the mother country. They have decided that the empire shall not be destroyed, and in my opinion no minister in this country will do his duty who neglects any opportunity of reconstructing as much as possible our colonial empire, and of responding to those distant sympathies which may become the source of incalculable strength and happiness to this land. Therefore, gentlemen, with respect to the second great object of the Tory party also – the maintenance of the empire – public opinion appears to be in favour of our principles – that public opinion which, I am bound to say, thirty years ago, was not favourable to our principles, and which, during a long interval of controversy, in the interval had been doubtful.

Gentlemen, another great object of the Tory party, and one not inferior to the maintenance of the empire, or the upholding of our institutions, is the elevation of the condition of the people. Let us see in this great struggle between Toryism and Liberalism that has prevailed in this country during the last forty years what are the salient features. It must be obvious to all who consider the condition of the multitude with a desire to improve and elevate it, that no important step can be gained unless you can effect some reduction of their hours of labour and humanize their toil. The great problem is to be able to achieve such results without violating those principles of economic truth upon which the prosperity of all states depends. You recollect well that many years ago the Tory party believed that these two results might be obtained – that you might elevate the condition of the people by the reduction of their toil and the mitigation of their labour, and at the same time inflict no injury on the wealth of the nation. You know how that effort was encountered – how these views and principles were met by the triumphant statesmen of Liberalism. They told you that the inevitable consequence of your policy was to diminish capital, that this, again, would lead to the lowering of wages, to a great diminution of the employment of the people, and ultimately to the impoverishment of the kingdom.

These were not merely the opinions of ministers of state, but those of the most blatant and loud-mouthed leaders of the Liberal party. And what has been the result? Those measures were carried, but carried, as I can bear witness, with great difficulty and after much labour and a long struggle. Yet they were carried; and what do we now find? That capital was never accumulated so quickly, that wages were never higher, that the employment of the people was never greater, and the country never wealthier. I ventured to say a short time ago, speaking in one of the great cities of this country, that the health of the people was the most important question for a statesman. It is, gentlemen, a large subject. It has many branches. It involves the state of the dwellings of the people, the moral consequences of which are not less considerable than the physical. It involves their enjoyment of some of the chief elements of nature - air, light, and water. It involves the regulation of their industry, the inspection of their toil. It involves the purity of their provisions, and it touches upon all the means by which you may wean them from habits of excess and of brutality. Now, what is the feeling upon these subjects of the Liberal party - that Liberal party who opposed the Tory party when, even in their weakness, they advocated a diminution of the toil of the people, and introduced and supported those Factory Laws, the principles of which they extended, in the brief period when they possessed power, to every other trade in the country? What is the opinion of the great Liberal party - the party that seeks to substitute cosmopolitan for national principles in the government of this country - on this subject? Why, the views which I expressed in the great capital of the county of Lancaster have been held up to derision by the Liberal Press. A leading member - a very rising member, at least, among the new Liberal members - denounced them the other day as the 'policy of sewage.'

Well it may be the 'policy of sewage' to a Liberal member of Parliament. But to one of the labouring multitude of England, who has found fever always to be one of the inmates of his household - who has, year after year, seen stricken down the children of his loins, on whose sympathy and material support he has looked with hope and confidence, it is not a 'policy of sewage' but a question of life and death. And I can tell you this, gentlemen, from personal conversation with some of the most intelligent of the labouring class - and I think there are many of them in this room who can bear witness to what I say - that the policy of the Tory party - the hereditary, the traditionary policy of the Tory party, that would improve the condition of the people - is more appreciated by the people than the ineffable mysteries and all the pains and penalties of the Ballot Bill. Gentlemen is that wonderful? Consider the condition of the great body of the working classes of this country. They are in possession of personal privileges - of personal rights and liberties - which are not enjoyed by the aristocracies of other countries. Recently they have obtained - and wisely obtained - a great extension of political rights; and when the people of England see that under the constitution of this country, by means of the constitutional cause which my right honourable friend the Lord Mayor has proposed, they possess every personal right of freedom, and, according to the conviction of the whole country, also an adequate concession of political rights, is it at all wonderful that they should wish to elevate and improve their condition, and is it unreasonable that they should ask the Legislature to assist them in that behest as far as it is consistent with the general welfare of the realm?

Why, the people of England would be greater idiots than the Jacobinical leaders of London even suppose, if, with their experience and acuteness, they should not long have seen that the time had arrived when social, and not political improvement is the object which they ought to pursue. I have touched, gentlemen, on the three great objects of the Tory party. I told you I would try to ascertain what was the position of the Tory party with reference to the country now. I have told you also with frankness what I believe the position of the Liberal party to be. Notwithstanding their proud position, I believe they are viewed by the country with mistrust and repugnance. But on all the three great objects which are sought by Toryism - the maintenance of our institutions, the preservation of our Empire, and the improvement of the condition of the people - I find a rising opinion in the country sympathising with our tenets, and prepared, I believe, if the opportunity offers, to uphold them until they prevail.

Before sitting down I would make one remark particularly applicable to those whom I am now addressing. This is a numerous assembly; this is an assembly individually influential; but it is not on account of its numbers, it is not on account of its individual influence, that I find it to me deeply interesting. It is because I know that I am addressing a representative assembly. It is because I know that there are men here who come from all districts and all quarters of England, who represent classes and powerful societies, and who meet here not merely for the pleasure of a festival, but because they believe that our assembling together may lead to national advantage. Yes, I tell all who are here present that there is a responsibility which you have incurred today, and which you must meet like men. When you return to your homes, when you return to your counties and to your cities, you must tell to all those whom you can influence that the time is at hand, that, at least, it cannot be far distant, when England will have to decide between national and cosmopolitan principles. The issue is not a mean one. It is whether you will be content to be a comfortable England, modelled and moulded upon Continental principles and meeting in due course an inevitable fate, or whether you will be a great country, - an imperial country - a country where your sons, when they rise, rise to paramount positions, and obtain not merely the esteem of their countrymen, but command the respect of the world.

Upon you depends the issue. Whatever may be the general feeling, you must remember that in fighting against Liberalism or the Continental system you are fighting against those who have the advantage of power - against those who have been in high places for nearly half a century. You have nothing to trust to but your own energy and the sublime instinct of an ancient people. You must act as if everything depended on your individual efforts. The secrect of success is constancy of purpose. Go to your homes and teach there these truths, which will soon be imprinted on the conscience of the land. Make each man feel how much rests on his own exertions. The highest, like my noble friend the chairman, may lend us his great aid. But rest assured that the assistance of the humblest is not less efficient. Act in this spirit, and you will succeed. You will maintain your country in its present position. But you will do more than that - you will deliver to your posterity a land of liberty, of prosperity, of power, and of glory.

(1) i.e. In preceding speech, April 3.

(2) The advanced Radical Party of which Sir Charles Dilke was supposed to be one of the leaders.

Friday, January 4, 2013

FDR's Second Bill of Rights: a do-gooder scheme for centralized planning

"The plans differ; the planners are all alike"
Frederic Bastiat - Economic Harmonies - 1.83

How do you know what's an actual right? A god given, inalienable right; and what's a right conferred by the state, fostered by a demagogue? For some of us, those who read history, the answer to the question is easy. Knowing the difference is almost even instinctual. By comparing documents and known quantities, we can make a reasonable argument in favor of one and against the other.

On January 11, 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his eleventh State of the Union Address, which contains the so called "Second Bill of Rights": (video)

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

Yeah? So what's wrong with that?

Well, first off, in front of the cameras they made sure to make everything sound real good and attractive. But behind the scenes, this is the kind of advice that FDR was receiving:

1. A strong, centralized government.

2. An Executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and jucicial arms. In some countries, power is consolidated in a dictator, issuing decrees.

3. The control of banking, credit, and security exchanges by the government.

4. The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works.

5. The underwriting of social security by the government - old-age pensions, mothers' pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like.

6. The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government. The United States is already experimenting with providing these essentials. Other nations are far along the road.

7. The use of the deficit spending technique to finance these underwritings. The annually balanced budget has lost its old-time sanctity.

8. The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies.

9. The control of foreign trade by the government, with increasing emphasis on bilateral agreements and barter deals.

10. The control of natural resources, with increasing emphasis on self-sufficiency

11. The control of energy sources - hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.

12. The control of transportation - railway, highway, airway, waterway.

13. The control of agricultural production.

14. The control of labor organizations, often to the point of prohibiting strikes.

15. The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline, community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities. The CCC camps have just inaugurated military drill.

16. Heavy taxation, with especial emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.

17. not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. it is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.

18. State control of communications and propaganda.

One of FDR's advisors wrote that. Stuart Chase. Numbers 1, 4, and 6 are directly relevant to the new bill of rights. In order for government to give everybody a decent home, give everybody adequate food, you would have to achieve a strong centralized government, which underwrites food, housing, and employment.

From there, numbers 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, and 16 would have to be implemented to make the system work. I use this phrase "make the system work" on purpose. I'll explain as we go forward.

(Others on Chase's list, such as 5, 15, 17, and 18 were put in place elsewhere in the FDR legislative program, outside of the new bill of rights.)

Have you ever read the Constitution of Cuba? You should. In the context of FDR's "Second Bill of Rights", you'll see familiar things there. Particularly in article 9:

ARTICLE 9. The state:

a) carries out the will of the working people and

b) as the power of the people and for the people, guarantees

c) works to achieve that no family be left without a comfortable place to live.

Those are the pillars of Article 9. Under those parts of Article 9 you will find:

a) carries out the will of the working people and

- directs in a planned way the national economy;

Other parts of section a make it clear that government is involved with every aspect of life.

b) as the power of the people and for the people, guarantees

- that every man or woman, who is able to work, have the opportunity to have a job with which to contribute to the good of society and to the satisfaction of individual needs;

- that no disabled person be left without adequate mean of subsistence;

- that no sick person be left without medical care;

- that no child be left without schooling, food and clothing;

- that no young person be left without the opportunity to study;

- that no one be left without access to studies, culture and sports;

All of this is virtually identical to the Second Bill of Rights. But Cuba is a totalitarian state. What does government guaranteeing a house have to do with that? Especially since this is the Constitution of 1992. Well, there's another place we can look, the Soviet Constitution, part X. That's much closer to FDR's lifetime: 1936. What do we see?

ARTICLE 118. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance With its quantity and quality.

ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure.

ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education.

Notice how similar the Soviet and Cuban Constitutions are to Stuart Chase's list? As well as the Second Bill of Rights?

In order to understand the difference of rights; God given and inalienable(notice those words are not in the Cuban/USSR constitutions) you have to examine the effect upon the lives of others. Or, a FDR himself would've put it, "The Forgotten Man".

There are no Home Depots in Cuba, to my knowledge, and that's directly attributable to their constitution. You see, if you have a right to a home, and the government is in position to see to it that that right is honored, then you have free reign to walk into any Home Depot and take what you want. "But I need this plywood, tar, and shingles. My roof is leaking". It's no wonder there aren't any Home Depots in Cuba. And it's easy to see how the mechanism for Chase's #1 item, "A strong, centralized government" is necessary to make the system work.

Your right to a home directly infringes upon the other person's "right" to employment, as listed in various different ways above.(I would encourage you to repeatedly read the lists I've outlined)

But it's not just about a direct infringement upon someone else's right to get paid for their work and the quality of it, this goes one step further. By guaranteeing such false rights, this is how Cuban and Soviet dictatorships are maintained, fostered, and cemented. A right to a house means you own the Home Depot employees. They are your slaves. They can't by law refuse you plywood, tar, and shingles. the same thing goes for all of these so called rights.

Contrast that with those rights as enumerated in the American bill of rights, which are endowed by our Creator. The first amendment, the right to free speech. My right to free speech does not have you obligated in any way. That is ultimately the difference. Same goes for the second amendment. If I go buy a gun, or a second gun, you are not obligated in any way. Our rights are completely compartmentalized.(for lack of a better word) You can go right down the list.

(The only one that immediately stands out as having an obligation is the right to a jury of peers. But take a minute to examine what a jury of peers replaced - a Monarch's arbitrary decision. The need for juries is obvious - it's anti totalitarian)

With the so called "rights", as enumerated by the Soviet, Cuban, or Second Bill of Rights, others become drastically obligated. Not only is the state the ultimate arbiter, but your neighbor is equally enabled to have certain power over your life. Article 120 of the USSR constitution nearly gives the whole thing away: "and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people" - All of those doctors are slaves. Every one of them. Their government runs their lives, their neighbors run their life. When you examine it from front to back, it becomes easier to see why someone would consider floating across the Strait of Florida to be a good idea, now doesn't it?

"The plans differ; the planners are all alike"
Frederic Bastiat - Economic Harmonies - 1.83

I quote this for you again, because I don't want any reader to come away with the wrong message. It's not my intent to call FDR a communist. Not because I'm afraid to do so, because it doesn't matter. FDR was a central planner. That's dangerous enough, even moreso, because communists are a known quantity. Sadly, not enough people think in terms of "centralized planning". Part of the reason why central planners keep making advance is because of the titles they use and throw away. Chase was not a communist. So should I not worry about him?

One of the things that shows up in all of these "rights" lists is the right to leisure.(FDR says recreation, the Cuban Constitution says "sports") This should just go to show that these people have a much more sinister intent. Even if you did decide that you agreed that one or more of these should be a right..... recreation and sports? This is tyranny's disguise.

Now, I suppose there may be someone who comes across this writing and says to themselves that it would be a great thing to have as your slave someone like Tim Tebow. "Entertain me. You have to. I have the right to it". Until you stop and remember that you work at Home Depot. Now you're Tebow's slave, his back door is broken. Fix it.

The Second Bill of Rights doesn't sound like such a good thing after all, now does it? As I said, this is tyranny's disguise.

It would be a mistake to think that the Second Bill of Rights is some dusty old concept. The big labor bosses are a huge fan of these "new rights". Their list of rights is even more vague, which makes them all even more dangerous. Government must at all times be kept in a box.

In all of the instances listed above, the state gains a huge command over the property of the individual, and when the state commands the property of the individual, the state commands the individual. Ronald Reagan said in 1964: (video)

"The full power of centralized government" - this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.

As we've seen by our readings of portions of two constitutions, and a Presidential SOTU, Ronald Reagan was right. Reagan's always right.